Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett
Students’ Chance To Travel To Greece For ANZAC Commemorations
Victor P Taffa
Ten West Australian school students will have the opportunity to travel to Greece next year to learn more about the role played by ANZAC forces in defending the country during World War II.
On the eve of ANZAC Day, Premier Colin Barnett encouraged secondary school students in Years Eight to 11 to apply for a place on the 2011 Premier’s ANZAC Student Tour, which will mark the 70th anniversary of Australia’s defence of Greece.
This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the selected students to find out more about the role played by ANZAC forces, including those from WA, during the events in Greece in 1941.
Australians fought side by side with New Zealanders, as well as British and Greek forces, and troops included the 2/11th City of Perth Battalion which landed on Crete on April 26.
Sadly, German successes elsewhere on Crete made surrender inevitable and most of the Battalion’s brave soldiers were taken prisoner with only a small number successfully escaping from Crete.
Premier Barnett encouraged any student who values the contribution of veterans and is keen to learn more about this important chapter of Australian history, to apply before Friday, August 13, 2010.
Applicants are required to prepare an essay on one of two topics:
- The youth of Western Australia value and honour the service of our veterans and those currently serving with the Australian Defence Force;
- Examine the story of the ANZACs in Greece during World War II. To what extent do these experiences add to your understanding of the ANZAC legacy and the contribution of Western Australians?
Students will also need to demonstrate their understanding of some of the lessons of war and the positive values embodied by ANZAC troops during times of conflict.
Shortlisted students will proceed to the next stage where they will have to present a speech and attend an interview.
Successful applicants will be announced on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2010.
The selected group will represent WA at ANZAC Day services and events in Athens on April 25, 2011 before travelling to the island of Crete to participate in commemorative activities.
These will include an extended hike through Samaria Gorge, the route taken by many Australian soldiers in their efforts to evacuate the island in 1941.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced plans for community involvement as to how best Australia can commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 2015.